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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE  GROWTH  OF THE  WAR        65

in its favour, and to see some of the forms in
which it has been put forward. It may be said that
the ball was opened early last September when, in
the Daily News of the 8th of that month, its able
and always interesting editor dealt in one of his
illuminating Saturday articles with the question of
" How to Pay for the War/' He began with the
assumption that the capital of the individuals of the
nation has increased during the war from 16,000
millions to 20,000 millions. A 10 per cent, levy on
this, he proceeded, would realise 2000 millions. It
would extinguish debt to that amount and reduce
the interest on debt by 120 millions. The levy
would be graduated—say, 5 per cent, on fortunes of
£1000 to £20,000 ; 10 per cent, on £20,000 to £50,000;
up to 30 per cent, on sums over £1,000,000 ; and the
individual taxpayer was to pay the levy " in what
form was convenient, in his stocks or his shares, his
houses or his fields, in personalty or realty."

just about the same time the Round Table, a
quarterly magazine which is usually most illuminating
on the subject of finance, chimed in with a more or
less-similar suggestion in an article on "Finance
After the War." It remarked that the difficulty of
applying a levy on capital is " probably not so great
as appears at first sight." The total capital wealth
of the community it estimated at about 24,000
millions sterling. To pay off a war debt of 3000
millions would therefore require a levy of one-eighth.
" Evidently this could not be raised in money, nor
would it be necessary. Holders of War Loans would
pay their proportion in a simple way by surrendering